Around the House · Musings

Getting Back to Normal?

The kids are heading back to school soon. The weather is starting to head toward what the end of Summer usually looks like. In places. 🙂 Folks are starting to think about a change of pace that could either be a slow down or a speed up depending upon the kids in the household.

I don’t know about you but I’m ready to stop thinking about Summer Meals and start diving into some hearty recipes that are not only satisfying but tasty, too.

Granted the move toward Fall will take a while – my local weatherman is predicting 90+ degree temps in the coming days – but in the meantime it is a good idea to start checking the markets to see what is on offer, what fits into the budget, and what changes we might make.

The Holidays are also on the way and that will mean some extra budget planning, not to mention time planning, for those who are looking at gift giving.

Yep, we are heading back to Normal.

Yikes!

Around the House · Musings · YouTube

Bits & Bobs

Or the occasional odd thoughts that cross my mind.

Reached into my desk drawer recently and discovered, much to my surprise, that I had three – yes, three – tape measures inside. One for sewing, one all purpose, and one honking huge thing used by professional carpenters.

Note to self: Clean out the desk drawer and the tool box to make sure things are where they should be.

Yesterday’s snow was a lovely soft blanket that averaged 2.5 inches across my area. It was light and fluffy without any sleet or ice. So nice, in fact, that I was able to take my broom and sweep off the deck in front of the main door.

Today, thanks to blue skies and sun that is warming everything up, most of the white fluffy stuff is gone. 🙁

My daffodils are blooming and, having gone through two snow blasts within two weeks, are still hanging in there. Here’s hoping that they can bloom without experiencing any more of the white stuff.

I find myself watching lots of ladies on YouTube who have taken care with their manicures.

Some love a variety of colors and finishes while others are rather subtle. All are quite nice to see. Even if I clicked just to watch the project. 🙂

Sometimes you need to find a space that allows you to process all the ‘stuff’ going on outside in the world without doing damage to what is going on inside your world. To that end, in my house at least, this means quiet music, classic cartoons, and a touch of whimsy where applicable.

The outside world will continue with what it is doing all on its own. The inside world needs all the help we can give it.

Sending hugs to all who need them.

Musings

Odds & Ends

Time to catch up with film and TV.

Yikes!

I’ve been taking a look at my Roku channels and removing those I don’t watch. Oddly, there aren’t that many. I find I spend a lot of time on PlutoTV or YouTube. Yeah, surprised me, too.

I’m slowly getting back into series TV.

Over on AcornTV the return of Queens of Mystery (season 2) was such fun. The series is quirky. The mysteries interesting and I’m starting to see where the base “what happened?” mystery is being addressed.

Over on Paramount+ Star Trek Discovery has once again been pure joy. I’ve lauded the cinematic look and feel to the series since the beginning, but it is the writing that keeps raising the bar. To be clear, I’m not one of those nitpickers who would rather complain over the perceived error regarding [ fill in the blank ]. I’d rather sit back and enjoy a story that is well written, isn’t insipid, and treats the audience as thinking adults.

Yeah, I get a bit pissy about that. 🙂

Speaking of Paramount+, the ability to catch up with NCIS and Ghosts when I feel like it is great. I love watching these shows live, but when necessary to be able to not have to record them is great. If you’ve never set a recorder to capture a show that was pre-empted by a sports show and you ended up missing a chunk of what you wanted to watch… You don’t know what you’ve missed.

Ghosts has become such a wonderful success! Frankly not many UK shows can make the jump to the US audience and succeed. Ghosts is one of the very few and it is developing into Appointment TV.

Call Me Kat over on FOX is another of those ex-pat UK shows that moved to the US market. Season 2 just premiered and I am pleased to say that it looks like season 2 is going to be great.

I finally sat back to watch Being the Ricardos on Amazon the other day and was blown away. This Aaron Sorkin film looked at the relationship between Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz not Lucy and Ricky Ricardo. It has the full support of the family, too. Lucie Arnaz even posted a video talking about the project before it was released and stated that she was impressed.

The film is exceptionally well cast and the writing sharp. For those who take the time to notice, there is a lot of information about how a series is produced. The main focus of the film is the relationship between Lucille and Desi. Behind all the glitz and glamour, beyond the masks of characters, the story of these two people is compelling.

Oh, and if you are interested, Lucie Arnaz did a documentary based on her family home movies and interviews with folks who knew her parents. You can find it, Lucy and Desi A Home Movie, on Amazon.

Love Those Reruns!

I’ve loved BritComs for years. A couple have found their way on my viewing list once again.

‘Allo, ‘Allo is one of those Croft and Lloyd series that I once watched on my local PBS station, then found on Pumpkin FM. A bit silly, a bit farce, a bit tongue in cheek. Always good for a laugh. Click here for more information about the show.

Thanks to both PlutoTV and Hulu, I’ve been able to watch the Mary Tyler Moore show again. It is amazing how well the show holds up.

These are a few of the movies and shows I’ve been watching. What have you been enjoying?

Around the House · Crafting · Musings · YouTube

Starting The New Year

Happy First Wednesday of 2022!

Among all the get fit, healthy, slim, organized, up to date, etc., etc., videos and blog posts out there, I’ve found a couple that actually speaks to me and are relevant to my crafting/crafter’s journey.
You might find them useful, too.

On YouTube:

Just Get It Done Quilts is doing a 21 day de-clutter challenge. Now before you panic, these are easy 30 minute things you can do each day – with a time limit – so you can reclaim your sewing space.
They are practical ways to get back to doing what you love: quilting. Check it out.

Sew Becca is embarking on her 2022 get healthier journey by incorporating a quilt that will journal her journey. She is building upon an idea she learned from Scrap Fabric Love. Check out Becca’s videos for the explanation.
The beauty of this process is that it can apply to pretty much everything. So, if you want to track your water intake, the number of steps you make, the weight loss or gain, this could apply to you. Also (and the thing I find most amazing) is that the process does not limit itself to quilting. If you are a knitter, crocheter, quilter, painter, paper crafter, or whatever your jam, this process can be accommodated to you.

Sometimes it is the little thing that help us get back to what the life we want. Whether de-cluttering or tracking is needed, these are easy things you can do to get you where you want to be.

Musings

Here’s What I’m Thinking

As we step into 2022 I’m thinking about projects I want to embark on. I’d bet you are also thinking along those lines.

First Up: I have an accumulation (aka: Stash) of quilting fabrics that need to be used. Really, there is no point to having it if you aren’t going to use it, right? And, while I can agree that there isn’t a huge time limit, ‘later’ basically means that you spent money on stuff you don’t really plan to do something with.

With that in mind, I have had a set of patterns for a Block of the Month quilt from AccuQuilt that dates back to, I think, 2012 or so. They are lovely, easy to piece and would be a beautiful wall hanging, table runner, or quilt.

If you go to the AccuQuilt website, click on the Patterns link and you will find a wide variety of options. Or, you could simply click on these links. 🙂

I don’t know if they are still available, but I do know that there are loads of free patterns available – and every die comes with free patterns – so there are loads of options.

Second Up: I also have an accumulation of card making supplies that I want to spend more time with. There are lots of techniques I want to try out, too. While I did focus on replacing old ink pads and gathering cardstocks in 2021, this year I want to make use of what I have rather than buy more. Space is limited and, like fabrics, there isn’t much use in not putting thing to use.

Third: I’m looking (once again) to expand my meal options. There’s nothing like getting stuck in the same rut with the same meal plans, right? It seems to me to be time to experiment a bit and try new things.

I also have quite a collection of cookbooks, so there are thousands of options I can choose from.

What do you think?

Are you feeling adventurous? Are you thinking that you might want to dip a toe into uncharted waters and try new things, use up old things and make room for some unexpected accomplishment? Not to mention possibly getting a head start on holiday gifting?

Let me know what you are contemplating. And, no matter what, take time to spend time with yourself. Enjoy!

Musings

And Just Like That It Was Boxing Day!

Happy Boxing Day to those who celebrate even it if might just be a passing nod to the End Of the Christmas Festivities.

Not sure what Boxing Day is? Click HERE for an explanation.

In our house Boxing Day has become a day where we sit back, put our feet up, divvy up any leftovers and basically work to regain our sanity and composure after 4 to 6 weeks of Holiday Insanity. And we aren’t in that group who was up to their ears with shopping, wrapping, cooking, etc. They might need it more than we do. 🙂

Think of it as a type of recovery day, if you like.

Enjoy!

Around the House · Musings

Taking A Breather

Or, It’s Been A Long, Long Year

I started thinking about this month’s posts in November. Not unusual except that I was up to my ears with catalogs, online browsing, holiday card making, and the not so comfortable feeling that things were getting out of hand. Sound familiar?

Well, the shopping and the cards are done and out in the mail. The catalogs have been browsed so often there are fingerprints in places that are … odd. I’ve managed to corral them, shred the parts that need to be and toss the rest.

Enough already!

It almost feels as if the holidays have already been celebrated and we are at that point where clean up makes us wonder if we missed anything important. Like, maybe, the celebration?

When you look at the December calendar it is astounding how many different holidays there are. The mind boggles.

Like many folks I know, we started the actual shopping early. Why? Well, considering backlogs, out of orders, delays, and such, it just seemed like a good idea. An added bonus was the ability-come-requirement to think outside the box. That little extra that advised us to look beyond the normal, or usual, gift items and find things that were still a good fit but a bit more on target with the recipient in mind.

I do admit that at least one recipient on my list received a gift card because I found a literal plethora of items that would fit the bill. So many, in fact, I simply could not make up my mind. Part of me feels a touch guilty but part is curious to find out what the recipient chooses.

At this point, however, December is becoming a time when I want to put my feet up, have something tasty cooking in the kitchen, and something interesting and fun to watch or listen to.

Sort of a combination of sticker shock and jet lag, right?

Here’s to an interesting December!

Gifts · Musings · Shopping · YouTube

Getting Into The Holiday Spirit

I admit this year has been quite an interesting one and as we start towards the end of year holidays, I’m finding it a bit of a slow start. I’m not one to spend a lot or buy a lot just to spend but I do enjoy finding beautiful things and getting ideas that I can bring home. Or share. 🙂

I saw this the other day and was fascinated. If you are like me and love beautiful ornaments, this will give you a bit of a wow moment.

Come Shopping!

I love my UK folks! I especially love it when they take me along on their travels.

Luke Catleugh recently posted a wonderful London shopping trip that made me smile. Check it out:

I love to find stores that still decorate their windows. Holiday window displays are magical things.

Looks like Maggie will be having a magical Christmas, too! Such a good dog!

I’ve been browsing shopping sites and catalogs trying to find ‘just the right gift’. It isn’t easy. I like to feed folks but that isn’t easy, either. 🙂

What are you planning for the holidays this year?

Musings

Holiday Extravaganza

Video, that is. Maybe a bit of music, too..

If you are looking to find a wide array of holiday films, specials, and classics check out your streaming services. Disney+ has been adding quite a bit of seasonal programming and Amazon Prime even has a special search button to find those favorites. I think PlutoTV has already begun a channel devoted to holiday programming.

Granted, you probably won’t find everything you want to see, but you might be shocked/surprised to see what is available.

One of the yearly favorites in my home is the Muppets Christmas Carol. We are also fond of the Prep and Landing specials, too.

Have you noticed the yearly fireplace videos are back, too?

Before we know it we will be up to our ears with holiday baking. A perfect accompaniment to baking, package wrapping, and decorating would be the month long Holiday Radio Shows on RadioOnceMore. Check out their website with the program guide here. Note their special holiday programming begins December 1st but they also have some Thanksgiving shows at the end of November.

Enjoy!

Food · Musings

Coffee And A Treat

I’m fascinated by all sorts of things. I love a good cup of coffee and a tasty treat. I enjoy the idea of a mystery gift in the mail. I like to experiment a bit to see if I can find just the right roast and blend of a cup of coffee. When all of these things come together, it really is a Win/Win!

I happened across the Match Made Coffee subscription box thanks to an Amazon.com notification. At the time, there was a sale on a variety of subscription boxes and I decided to check them out.

The service is quite simple: each month I get a box in the mail with two cookies paired with a bag of ground coffee – each has been hand picked and paired for maximum enjoyment.

The bag contains enough coffee to make a couple of pots of coffee – figuring 2 cups or so per pot. Just enough to try it out but not so much that it stays on hand.

The price is just right, too. If you have a habit of hitting the local coffee shop, you can expect the box to cost around two visits. 🙂

My First Box

So far I’ve been pleased with what I’ve received. I’m on my second month and each delivery has been well packaged.

Hey, this is such a nice treat I’ve dug out my tried and true faithful Melitta pot!

If you are looking for a nice treat, a way to experiment with different coffees, or just a break in the daily routine, check them out. You don’t have to use the amazon.com sign up, either.